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St Helens Town install heritage boards honouring former players

Bert Trautmann is helped from the field by teammates after breaking his neck during the FA Cup Final. The German-born goalkeeper is one of the first former St Helens Town players to be honoured on the club's new heritage boards
Bert Trautmann is helped from the field by teammates after breaking his neck during the FA Cup Final. The German-born goalkeeper is one of the first former St Helens Town players to be honoured on the club's new heritage boards
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St Helens Town, who gave the legendary German-born Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, his first real taste of non-league soccer after the Second World War and won the FA Vase in the 1986-87 season, have installed the first in a series of heritage boards at their new Ruskin Drive Sports Ground home.

The 1.5m long boards have been placed on the exterior fence and depict the club’s Hall of Fame players – each one selected as a shining light of the club during each of the seven decades since its re-formation in 1946.

From prisoner-of-war Trautmann in the 1940s through to Iain Dyson in the 2000s, each board offers a brief biography of the player along with a photograph.

The players celebrated are Bert Trautmann (1940s), Harry McCann (1950s), John Atherton (1960s), Alan Wellens (1970s), Phil Layhe (1980s), Steve Pennington (1990s) and Iain Dyson (2000s).

Club official John McKiernan said: “The new ground has given us an opportunity to promote the club and celebrate the club’s extensive history and the initial seven boards have already proved popular.

“We have previously used similar Hall of Fame information in our match programme and on our website but this allows visitors to Ruskin Drive to better understand some of our history.

“It is hoped the boards will also add some character to the ground – there’s lots of mesh fencing as is the case with community venues funded by the Football Foundation and it often feels very open.

“We hope the Heritage boards will break up some of the bareness of the exterior fencing, providing a natural barrier as well as some great reading material for visitors.

“We have prepared another series of nine boards which commemorate Town’s epic FA Vase journey which culminated in Wembley glory back in 1987, and it is hoped this will be installed very soon”.